Future of Life Institute Podcast

Future of Life Institute Podcast

The Future of Life Institute (FLI) is a nonprofit working to reduce global catastrophic and existential risk from powerful technologies. In particular, FLI focuses on risks from artificial intelligence (AI), biotechnology, nuclear weapons and climate change. The Institute's work is made up of three main strands: grantmaking for risk reduction, educational outreach, and advocacy within the United Nations, US government and European Union institutions. FLI has become one of the world's leading voices on the governance of AI having created one of the earliest and most influential sets of governance principles: the Asilomar AI Principles.

Episodes

March 4, 2022 121 min
Daniela and Dario Amodei join us to discuss Anthropic: a new AI safety and research company that's working to build reliable, interpretable, and steerable AI systems. Topics discussed in this episode include: -Anthropic's mission and research strategy -Recent research and papers by Anthropic -Anthropic's structure as a "public benefit corporation" -Career opportunities You can find the page for the podcast he...
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Anthony Aguirre and Anna Yelizarova join us to discuss FLI's new Worldbuilding Contest. Topics discussed in this episode include: -Motivations behind the contest -The importance of worldbuilding -The rules of the contest -What a submission consists of -Due date and prizes Learn more about the contest here: https://worldbuild.ai/ Join the discord: https://discord.com/invite/njZyTJpwMz You can find the page for the podcast h...
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David Chalmers, Professor of Philosophy and Neural Science at NYU, joins us to discuss his newest book Reality+: Virtual Worlds and the Problems of Philosophy. Topics discussed in this episode include: -Virtual reality as genuine reality -Why VR is compatible with the good life -Why we can never know whether we're in a simulation -Consciousness in virtual realities -The ethics of simulated beings You can find the page fo...
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Rohin Shah, Research Scientist on DeepMind's technical AGI safety team, joins us to discuss: AI value alignment; how an AI Researcher might decide whether to work on AI Safety; and why we don't know that AI systems won't lead to existential risk.  Topics discussed in this episode include: - Inner Alignment versus Outer Alignment - Foundation Models - Structural AI Risks - Unipolar versus Multipolar Scenarios - The Mos...
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Future of Life Institute President Max Tegmark and our grants team, Andrea Berman and Daniel Filan, join us to announce a $25M multi-year AI Existential Safety Grants Program. Topics discussed in this episode include: - The reason Future of Life Institute is offering AI Existential Safety Grants - Max speaks about how receiving a grant changed his career early on - Daniel and Andrea provide details on the fellowships and future g...
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Dr. Filippa Lentzos, Senior Lecturer in Science and International Security at King's College London, joins us to discuss the most pressing issues in biosecurity, big data in biology and life sciences, and governance in biological risk. Topics discussed in this episode include: - The most pressing issue in biosecurity - Stories from when biosafety labs failed to contain dangerous pathogens - The lethality of pathogens being wo...
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Susan Solomon, internationally recognized atmospheric chemist, and Stephen Andersen, leader of the Montreal Protocol, join us to tell the story of the ozone hole and their roles in helping to bring us back from the brink of disaster.  Topics discussed in this episode include: -The industrial and commercial uses of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) -How we discovered the atmospheric effects of CFCs -The Montreal Protocol and its signific...
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James Manyika, Chairman and Director of the McKinsey Global Institute, joins us to discuss the rapidly evolving landscape of the modern global economy and the role of technology in it.  Topics discussed in this episode include: -The modern social contract -Reskilling, wage stagnation, and inequality -Technology induced unemployment -The structure of the global economy -The geographic concentration of economic growth You can find...
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Michael Klare, Five College Professor of Peace & World Security Studies, joins us to discuss the Pentagon's view of climate change, why it's distinctive, and how this all ultimately relates to the risks of great powers conflict and state collapse. Topics discussed in this episode include: -How the US military views and takes action on climate change -Examples of existing climate related difficulties and what they tel...
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Avi Loeb, Professor of Science at Harvard University, joins us to discuss unidentified aerial phenomena and a recent US Government report assessing their existence and threat.  Topics discussed in this episode include: -Evidence counting for the natural, human, and extraterrestrial origins of UAPs -The culture of science and how it deals with UAP reports -How humanity should respond if we discover UAPs are alien in origin -A proj...
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Avi Loeb, Professor of Science at Harvard University, joins us to discuss a recent interstellar visitor, if we've already encountered alien technology, and whether we're ultimately alone in the cosmos.  Topics discussed in this episode include: -Whether 'Oumuamua is alien or natural in origin -The culture of science and how it affects fruitful inquiry -Looking for signs of alien life throughout the solar system and be...
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Nicolas Berggruen, investor and philanthropist, joins us to explore the dynamics of power, wisdom, technology and ideas in the 21st century. Topics discussed in this episode include: -What wisdom consists of -The role of ideas in society and civilization  -The increasing concentration of power and wealth -The technological displacement of human labor -Democracy, universal basic income, and universal basic capital  -Living an exam...
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Bart Selman, Professor of Computer Science at Cornell University, joins us to discuss a wide range of AI issues, from autonomous weapons and AI consciousness to international governance and the possibilities of superintelligence. Topics discussed in this episode include: -Negative and positive outcomes from AI in the short, medium, and long-terms -The perils and promises of AGI and superintelligence -AI alignment and AI existenti...
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Jaan Tallinn, investor, programmer, and co-founder of the Future of Life Institute, joins us to discuss his perspective on AI, synthetic biology, unknown unknows, and what's needed for mitigating existential risk in the 21st century. Topics discussed in this episode include: -Intelligence and coordination -Existential risk from AI, synthetic biology, and unknown unknowns -AI adoption as a delegation process -Jaan's invest...
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Joscha Bach, Cognitive Scientist and AI researcher, as well as Anthony Aguirre, UCSC Professor of Physics, join us to explore the world through the lens of computation and the difficulties we face on the way to beneficial futures.  Topics discussed in this episode include: -Understanding the universe through digital physics -How human consciousness operates and is structured -The path to aligned AGI and bottlenecks to beneficial ...
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Roman Yampolskiy, Professor of Computer Science at the University of Louisville, joins us to discuss whether we can control, comprehend, and explain AI systems, and how this constrains the project of AI safety.  Topics discussed in this episode include: -Roman’s results on the unexplainability, incomprehensibility, and uncontrollability of AI -The relationship between AI safety, control, and alignment -Virtual worlds as a proposa...
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Stuart Russell, Professor of Computer Science at UC Berkeley, and Zachary Kallenborn, WMD and drone swarms expert, join us to discuss the highest risk and most destabilizing aspects of lethal autonomous weapons.  Topics discussed in this episode include: -The current state of the deployment and development of lethal autonomous weapons and swarm technologies -Drone swarms as a potential weapon of mass destruction -The risks of esc...
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John Prendergast, former adjunct professor of psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies, joins Lucas Perry for a discussion about the experience and effects of ego-identification, how to shift to new levels of identity, the nature of non-dual awareness, and the potential relationship between waking up and collective human problems. This is not an FLI Podcast, but a special release where Lucas shares a direction he ...
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Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) and Nobel Peace Prize recipient, joins us to discuss the current risks of nuclear war, policies that can reduce the risks of nuclear conflict, and how to move towards a nuclear weapons free world. Topics discussed in this episode include: -The current nuclear weapons geopolitical situation -The risks and mechanics of accidental and i...
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Max Tegmark and members of the FLI core team come together to discuss favorite projects from 2020, what we've learned from the past year, and what we think is needed for existential risk reduction in 2021. Topics discussed in this episode include: -FLI's perspectives on 2020 and hopes for 2021 -What our favorite projects from 2020 were -The biggest lessons we've learned from 2020 -What we see as crucial and needed in ...
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